Discussion:
Berkeley's electric Red Trains and metal hitching posts
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Don Kuenz
2017-04-29 17:57:56 UTC
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_Radio Free Albemuth_ (PKD) got its Hollywood treatment in 2010. Many
critics panned the movie as dated. OTOH, this movie's still as relevant
as ever, to me. De gustibus non est disputandum as Dorothy says.

PKD novels and movies make a great "double dip" for me. YMMV. My usual
routine is to read the novel first and then watch the movie. That
order's reversed for _Albemuth_. The movie was watched first and now
it's time for me to read the novel. The novel begins with this
paragraph:

My friend Nicholas Brady, who in his own mind helped save
the world, was born in Chicago in 1928 but then moved right
to California. Most of his life was spent in the Bay Area,
especially in Berkeley. He remembered the metal hitching
posts in the shape of horses' heads in front of the old houses
in the hilly part of the city, and the electric Red Trains
that met the ferries, and most of all, the fog. Later, by the
forties, the fog had ceased to lie over Berkeley in the night.

One of the great things about the Inet is how you can use it to augment
your imagination. There's no need any more to start with a tabula rosa
to image a setting with hitching posts and Red Trains. The Inet enables
me to get further into PKD's mind to make a better connection with the
story.

A search reveals that http://sonic.net/~ronks/pix/walks/estates/
provides a fair virtual vista of "the hilly part of the city." It even
shows a "metal hitching post:"

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Although that particular post's not "in the shape of [a horse's] head"
it does leave readers with a feel for _Albemuth_'s scenery. An old color
photograph of one of the Red Trains appears five paragraphs down in:

http://www.oaklandmagazine.com/Oakland-Magazine/January-2008/When-Trains-Ruled-the-East-Bay/

Somewhere along the way my search revealed a rather naughty statue. They
call it "The Last Dryad" and it appears near the top of
http://sonic.net/~ronks/pix/walks/campus/index.html

Thank you,

--
Don Kuenz KB7RPU
Dorothy J Heydt
2017-04-29 20:36:02 UTC
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Post by Don Kuenz
_Radio Free Albemuth_ (PKD) got its Hollywood treatment in 2010. Many
critics panned the movie as dated. OTOH, this movie's still as relevant
as ever, to me. De gustibus non est disputandum as Dorothy says.
PKD novels and movies make a great "double dip" for me. YMMV. My usual
routine is to read the novel first and then watch the movie. That
order's reversed for _Albemuth_. The movie was watched first and now
it's time for me to read the novel. The novel begins with this
My friend Nicholas Brady, who in his own mind helped save
the world, was born in Chicago in 1928 but then moved right
to California. Most of his life was spent in the Bay Area,
especially in Berkeley. He remembered the metal hitching
posts in the shape of horses' heads in front of the old houses
in the hilly part of the city, and the electric Red Trains
that met the ferries, and most of all, the fog. Later, by the
forties, the fog had ceased to lie over Berkeley in the night.
One of the great things about the Inet is how you can use it to augment
your imagination. There's no need any more to start with a tabula rosa
to image a setting with hitching posts and Red Trains. The Inet enables
me to get further into PKD's mind to make a better connection with the
story.
A search reveals that http://sonic.net/~ronks/pix/walks/estates/
provides a fair virtual vista of "the hilly part of the city." It even
shows a "metal hitching post:"
http://sonic.net/~ronks/pix/walks/estates/0440HitchingPostPlazaDrW.jpg
Although that particular post's not "in the shape of [a horse's] head"
it does leave readers with a feel for _Albemuth_'s scenery. An old color
http://www.oaklandmagazine.com/Oakland-Magazine/January-2008/When-Trains-Ruled-the-East-Bay/
Hmm, yes, they really were red. (My previous association with
"Red Trains" was in _Who Framed Roger Rabbit?_ Maybe they were
made by the same company?)
Post by Don Kuenz
Somewhere along the way my search revealed a rather naughty statue. They
call it "The Last Dryad" and it appears near the top of
http://sonic.net/~ronks/pix/walks/campus/index.html
Well, it isn't as if the statue is showing anything real. As you
know, Bob, female people keep most of their reproductive system
*inside*, where it doesn't show. The Dryad doesn't even have any
pubic hair.

Do you know about the bas-reliefs on Sather Gate, which actually
used to be the southern entrance to the UC Berkeley Campus before
the Regents bought up several blocks south of it?

They were part of the original design. Bas-reliefs of four
youths and four maidens, Greek-oid design, all naked. They were
put up at the time the Gate was built and aroused tremendous
outrage. They were described as "ithyphallic" and taken down and
stored away somewhere.

Now the Greek word "ithyphallic" means "showing an erect penis."
Of the four male figures, two were shown in mid-stride so they
weren't showing *any*thing. The other two were whatever the
opposite of ithyphallic is; their modest little genitalia were
hanging limp as last night's linguine.

I know this because, in the 1980s or thereabouts -- I'd have to
look it up, but I was working on campus at the time -- somebody
found them in storage and said, "Hey, wotthehell, these aren't
bad at all," and they got reinstalled. I haven't been on campus
for the better part of a decade, living in Vallejo and unable to
drive and lacking access to BART, but I suppose they're still
there.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
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